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Madrid, December 2018

eProsima coordinates the publicly-funded project OFERA  to create the micro-ROS robotic framework and is proud to have a chance to improve the development of robotics together with the other OFERA members: BOSCH, PIAP, FIWARE Foundation and Acutronics Robotics.

micro-ROS is a project to create a platform for integrating micro-controllers in a robotic system extending the existing ROS2 framework. This platform should serve to seamless integration of resource constrained devices in the robot ecosystem preserving the ROS2 concepts and at the same time allowing communication between micro-controllers based solution (micro-ROS) and general ROS2 solution using a client-server architecture.

OFERA project

OFERA project is funded by the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 780785. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme with almost €80 billion of funding available for the period from 2014 to 2020.

micro-ROS

micro-ROS Robotic framework is being designed to target embedded and deep embedded robot components with extremely constrained computational resources and memory limitations. This framework will address the devices with special characteristics: minimum real time operating system or no operating system, battery powered, wireless low bandwidth connections, and intermittent operation with sleep periods.

micro-ROS and ROS.2.0

micro-ROS will be compatible with the Robot Operating System (ROS 2.0), the de facto standard for robot application development. micro-ROS will enable the interoperability of traditional robots with IoT sensors and devices, creating truly distributed robotic systems using a common framework. micro-ROS has adopted ROS 2.0 like architecture where micro-ROS can reuse most of the parts.

micro-ROS uses the same ROS2 concepts and interoperates with it. Integration of existing ROS2 concepts eases micro-ROS inclusion in the ROS2 ecosystem and the adoption of it by existing community.

micro-ROS context

micro-ROS context integrates such external systems as micro-ROS applications, ROS2 applications and the OS.

micro-ROS platform

micro-ROS platform includes such vital concepts as nodes (which are the entry point to users of the platform), node scheduling option, topic and messages option, publisher and subscriber interface, client and server service, time-based solution with timers and clocks, a layered approach and a profile system that allows the user to select how micro-ROS platform behaves, so they are capable to configure the platform accordingly their needs.

micro-ROS aims to provide:

  • Avaiability
  • Extensibility
  • Monitoring and management
  • Interoperability

Architecture

The micro-ROS architecture is a work in progress. It’s modular and built with the following ingredients:

  • A Real-Time Operating System (RTOS). This includes at least NuttX, and possibly others.
  • An embedded communications middleware, at least Micro XRCE-DDS
  • The ROS client library

A first approach (yet not final) of the architecture is represented below:

micro-ROS architecture

Involved parts

To ensure the successful outcome of OFERA project it counts on the participation of several international partners. eProsima, BOSCH, PIAP, FIWARE Foundation and Acutronic Robotics are involved.

The Consortium of the Ofera project for micro-ROS:

eProsimaAcutronic RoboticsBoschPIAPFIWARE

Expected impact

The SPARC Robotics PPP Strategic Research Agenda for Robotics in Europe (SRA) formulates three strategic objectives: to strengthen EU’s technical and scientific position as well as industrial leadership in innovation. Regarding communication, the SRA further formulates the 2020 target to accommodate robot requirements into widely used communication protocols and to integrate heterogeneous communication systems to improve data integrity and coverage.

The Robot Operating System (ROS) and micro-ROS together should be major pillars for achieving this target: the upcoming ROS2 is based on the mature communication standard DDS, which is backed by established suppliers, whose implementations provide interfaces to a variety of other communication protocols. micro-ROS will ensure that the many benefits of the defacto standard ROS and the DDS communication standard do not stop short of resource-constrained computing platforms as used in many commercial and industrial products.

More Information about eProsima micro-ROS:

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